A Week in the News #20

By alicia hosking
12 Dec 2011
TRAFFICKING HITS US WEALTHIEST NEIGHBOURHOODS
Perpetrators of human trafficking and forced prostitution in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the wealthiest places in the USA, are being brought to justice. Five cases have been prosecuted over the past year, all of which were executed by gangs that previously dealt in the trafficking of weapons and drugs. Trafficking in humans is less risky than drug smuggling or extortion for street gangs, who are well positioned to take advantage of people in desperate situations who come to them for help, such as teenage runaways. Read more >>

FOREIGN INVESTORS WANT AFRICA'S WATER
As foreign investors continue their "land grabs" across Africa's west, snapping up cheap land around the Niger River, the resource that Governments often throw in for free is now taking centre stage: water. Some of Africa's most aggressive foreign investors are those facing water shortages in their home countries such as India, South Korea, China and the Middle East, and many of them are buying land so they can grow crops abroad. The signing away of Africa's water has major implications for locals, as it limits access to water for local fishing, farming and pastoralist communities. Just as land without water would be useless to agricultural investors, so it is for West Africa's inhabitants. Read more >>

SWITZERLAND'S HIDDEN HISTORY OF CHILD SLAVERY
The tragic history of child slavery in Switzerland is being brought to light by a new feature film called Der Verdingbub - The Contract Boy. Hundreds of thousands of Swiss children were taken from their parents and sent to work in homes and on farms from the early 1800s until the 1960s. Known as Verdingkinder, or 'contract children', many experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse and were forced to work seven days a week instead of pursuing an education. 30,000 former contract children are still thought to be alive and are seeking official recognition of their suffering by the Swiss government. Authorities are planning an event next year to recognise the history of the contract children; a first possible step towards healing. Read more >>

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Last Thursday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Violence against women and girls is still a major issue in need of attention around the world; female genital mutilation, suttee (the custom of a widow being set on fire after the death of her husband) and forced marriage are still accepted parts of life in many cultures; one of the main weapons of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo conflict continues to be rape; child marriage is still perpetuating maternal deaths, the spread of HIV, poverty and hunger all over the planet; women are still the ones who bear the brunt of crises worldwide, whether triggered by armed conflict or natural disasters. But as the United Nations Development Programme reports, "We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society." Read more >>

TIMBER IS THE NEW DIAMONDS IN SIERRA LEONE
Illegal timber logging is doing irreparable damage to Sierra Leone's forests and the Government, it seems, is powerless to stop it as their bans on the logging and exporting of timber continue to be undermined by powerful, corrupt networks. 90 percent of Sierra Leone's traditionally sacred forests have been destroyed, devastating not only the environment but also local communities. According to the Sierra Leone Forestry Ministry, unless immediate action is taken it could all be wiped out by 2018, taking away the country's natural protection against adverse weather conditions and drought, leading to poverty and conflict in the future. Read more >>

ACCESS TO FOOD - BUT THE WRONG KIND?
Multinational corporations such as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Unilever and McDonalds are seeking new business opportunities in the world's poorest developing countries. Ask the global food and drink firms and they'll say they're providing valuable jobs and incomes to some of the world's most marginalised people, giving them access to the choices the rich have enjoyed for years. Ask health campaigners and they'll say the arrival of highly processed food and drink is a green light for deadly lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and alcoholism, which are increasing at unprecedented rates in developing countries. Read more >>

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Re: A Week in the News #20

I always enjoy reading this blog...but this "week in the news 20" was kind of special. I do value this opportunity so easy-practical to get awareness. Thank you:) xx

17 Dec 2011 by Greice Moura

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